x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Theatre company puts things in a whole new light

This Dubai Shopping Festival, get ready for an on stage performance that seeks to defy the rules of physics, as the acclaimed Attraction Black Light Theatre company from Hungary, prepare to take the Dubai stage for the first time.

Attraction Black Light Theatre company will perform at Ductac this weekend. Courtesy Attraction Black Light Theatre company
Attraction Black Light Theatre company will perform at Ductac this weekend. Courtesy Attraction Black Light Theatre company

With sold-out shows around the world, the Attraction Black Light Theatre company offers Dubai audiences something special, says the company's founder and choreographer Zoltan Szucs.

Step into the light

When Sarmad Al Zadjaly, the chief executive of the newly formed 82 Events, travelled to Hungary in May to watch one of Attraction Black Light Theatre company's shows, he knew they would be an instant hit in the UAE.

The performances present a place where the rules of physics do not apply, where the human body can be transformed into any shape or object, from an animal to a concrete structure.

The Attraction Black Light Theatre show at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, this weekend promises to take audiences into a new dimension - a type of wonderland where fantasy meets dance, acrobatics, music and light.

The black light illusions require a completely dark theatre, ultraviolet lighting and sharp fluorescent costumes. In one second, performers are invisible; in the next, they appear to be floating on air. During the one-hour production, the 10 performers will also present a shadow show, a form of storytelling that dates back thousands of years.

"It's like a suspense movie," says Al Zadjaly. "Every scene makes you wonder what will happen next. It will also appeal to anyone who loves entertainment, not just theatre enthusiasts. And the darkness allows the audience to fully focus on what they see. It's open to children and adults and because there is no use of dialogue, there is no language barrier."

Bodies in motion

The performers will present 17 different images between three to four minutes each. After a successful run in Austria, the company is starting a year of touring and television appearances.

"We have a very special surprise for Dubai," says Szucs, who has been a dancer for more than 25 years, specialising in styles including breakdance, hip-hop, contemporary dance and ballet, all of which are incorporated in the show.

"We disregard the rules of physics. Bodies are seemingly separated. It's like they are magicians. It's fresh and unique," he says.

As for the shadow show, which combines technology and performance art, "unforgettable" pictures will be created using the human body, he says.

"This is a new type of shadow show. It's going to be different. It's hard but nice work," says Szucs.

It is all about the body language, where one is encouraged to create their own story.

"It's up to the audience to interpret what they see," says Al Zadjaly.

UAE shines the spotlight

The performers from Hungary will be supported by UAE-based lighting and sound technicians, a combination that is important for 82 Events.

"It is a very technical show. Everything has to be very well set up," says Al Zadjaly. "We like to take on unique shows. We want to steer clear of what has become the 'norm' in terms of shows brought here. It's about offering different ideas and events. We would not have brought Black Light Theatre company if we did not believe they were high level, different and something huge for Dubai."

The company performed at the Hungarian Pavilion during the World Expo in Shanghai and was recognised during the 2012 Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film.

"In Arabs Got Talent 2012, there was a Saudi Arabian troupe who performed black light theatre, so the idea is obviously gaining momentum in the Middle East and people want to see it live," says Al Zadjaly.

Eva Varga, the manager of the team, says: "It will be the first time for us to perform here and we are excited. We are the only theatre company that combines black light and shadow."

• The show runs from tomorrow until Sunday at 6:30pm and 8:30pm at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates. Tickets cost Dh130-250 and are available through www.timeouttickets.com, Dobazaar, Groupon or the Ductac Box Office

melshoush@thenational.ae